Night Raids

Watchmen premiere – London

It’s probably the last place you expect to see Gallows play live but maybe the film was too good not to play it or the money was too good to turn down. On the evidence of this set up, the film company had money to burn on this release (as it was lavish to say the least) and Gallows had some cobwebs to blow out, that’s for sure.

On entrance to the SE1 Club, the surrounding arches were kitted out in graffiti art, smashed cars were dumped at the entrance and acted scenes of violent mugging took place. On the inside, the venue was kitted out with a makeshift diner, rockabilly band and girls serving burgers on roller skates and sweet lighting. There was also a peep show room with those Fuel Girls getting busy wetting the critics appetite with the usual seedy malarkey and TV sets were plastered everywhere. We caught Creme pro skater Rodney Clarke sneaking out of there too – he was hired to skate for the night. What a situation.

Laurent and Stu from Gallows had capitalised on the free booze all afternoon and came out of the blocks with intent. Opening track ‘London is the Reason‘ hit the crowd who had just walked out of the premiere and the place and the sheer wall of energy struck them smack in the face. Chaos erupted as soon as bloodied vocalist Frank Carter jumped into the pit and of course, one unlucky punter was ejected for attacking the band – standard issue with these punks. The bouncers jumped in and lined up in front of Frank, of course he intimidated them but even by his standards they were pretty monstrous and the show went on without the usual stand off. The set continued, on the floor in fact, leaving bass player Stu Gili Ross and Lee Barratt drumming on stage. Guitarist Stef Carter held it together whilst Laurent Barnard chucked himself on top of people like a scarecrow through the ravenous ‘Leeches‘ and the sing-along gnar of ‘I Dread The Night‘. It was all at mach 10 and anything could have happened. It was one of those nights.

Popcorn is flying everywhere, the mess is massive, people are pushing and shoving until the final track, Crucifucks lifted from the forthcoming 2nd album Grey Britain is shoved down people’s throats. Blood, sweat and tears mix into a dried up paste on the floor, I had a burger thrown at my head. Gallows blew out their cobwebs and made sure they caused as much trouble as they could. It may have been out of tune and totally fucked but we are glad they are back! Oh and the film is supposed be a corker but we totally missed it. Watch the trailer and go see it!

Night Raids

Relentless ‘This is the Order’ Party

Photos: Phil Procter

It’s a freezing February (11th) evening in the East End of London where the infamous York Hall played host to the latest Relentless Energy Drink party to launch ‘This is the Order‘, their new magazine.

Shady geezers lurked in the back end of the hall, in flatcaps and tracksuits, wrapping knuckles and covered in grease. Buckets were carried to the canvas as the fighters made their way to the ring whilst rock & roll blew through the speakers before blood spilled onto the canvas.

Haunts got the Underground rocking after the blonde with the big bazooka’s rolled to ‘Girls Girls Girls’.

Was it just us or did the hangover last for 2 days after this party?! Crunch.

Night Raids

Vans Syndicate Art show – Slam City

Last night saw the Vans Syndicate take over the basement art space at Slam City.

Photos and shoe designs by a very varied mix of designers will be on show for the next couple of months.

DLX’s Gabe Morford and Max Schaff are right at home designing the toughest looking Vans sneaks to date, also special guest on the night, John Cardiel comes through with his Pendleton wool designs and portrait photos.

Steve Olson has his say on the Vans design with his “Old school, new school, fuck school!” quote pretty much summing up his punk rock attitude.

Artists WTAPS came through with some fresh photos and designs as does world renowned tattoo artist Grime. Definitely worth a visit if your in town, it runs until the 12th January. Slam City Skates can be found at 16 Neil’s Yard, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DP. – PP

Night Raids

Crossfire Halloween Massacre 2008

Photos by George Thatcher, Nick Stevens, Dr Procter and Night Raids

Night Raids found that one by one the living dead of London’s skate and music scenes walked into a warehouse at the Union Car Park in Blackfriars and had one of the most rocking night’s of the year. Chris Taylor (Rogue State) warmed up preceedings in the main room with a mega mix of mashed up indie until the wonderful Talita Twoshoes sprinkled her thrash bag all over the gaff to wake up the dead heads.

DJ Hers rammed a wonderful bunch of filthy Hip Hop into the speakers. Katie P rocked some classics in the Kerrang! Arch before Chase and Status filled the Etnies room with some sublime DnB and Dubstep. Dan Greenpeace finished the place off with a trademark mash up of classic cuts and it’s here where the Howling started.

Big shout out’s to our special guests DJ’s Rout and SGT Rolfy from Enter Shikari who brought the rave to the warehouse before the mighty El Hornet and MC Verse from Pendulum sparked a mosh pit and blew the roof off!

Members of the RT and ID Crews came down to paint the place with Tobes.

The night was completed with a heavily funk laden Ed Pitt from Scenario who dropped the classic party bombs for the final hour when the Red Bull kicked in to make this one hell of a night!

Every costume, every drip of blood and make up will be remembered until this Hallowed evening comes around again in 2009. Thanks so much if you came down for this one!

Look out for the annual Crossfire Xmas Jam & Party on Saturday December 13th.

Night Raids

Tweaker Freaker is go

On Thursday night the Tweaker chaps kicked off their brand spanking new show with another cracking London piss up. The walls downstairs in Slam City have been heavily covered with photos from the cream of UK photography and pasted together in one huge montage, mixing in some artwork too for good measure.

Expect some classic Rom’ shots as well as some amazing portrait shots of Chris Haslam and much more from an impressive amount of different heads. The show is running daily until the 16 November – definitely worth the trip over if you are passing through Covent Garden in London.

Night Raids

JR Solo art show – 28 Millimetres: Women

3rd October-14th November.
Both the Greek Street and Charing Cross Lazarides galleries and in the surrounding streets of London.

Standing in a room three stories up on Charing Cross Road, I realised a few things. The first, I was the only person not wearing a suit (this happens often). The second, the art on the walls was of awful swirling lines. The third thing, I was clearly in the wrong place. The last thing I realised is how far removed everyone in this room was away from the essence of the work I had come to see. Looking around, I thought to myself, I live in a society where we all have mobile phones, ipods, and various other toys, maybe even a pre “credit crunch” mortgage, this is civilization after all right? – but the reality is this, if you lose your job and don’t work for 2 or 3 months, your house is taken away, your phone is disconnected and you have no place to charge your precious ipod.

28 Millimeters: Women, is centered around the women of the Favela Morro da Providencia area of Rio de Janeiro. Movies like City of God have served to bring the plight of the Brazilian male to the western eye, but JR, and film maker Ladj Ly focused on women’s struggle in the slums. Earlier this year the pair immersed themselves within the community to capture the vibe and bring back an expose on the hardships of living below the radar of supposed civilization. The approach to start with was more an act of reportage than merely photographing the desperate, grim surface of the ghetto. Taking in the stories of the inhabitants struggles against not only poverty, but the tense fear that hangs over the province like an oppressive cloud created by the areas controlling factions, the drug dealers, and the army.

Shooting with local photographer Mauricio Hora, JR pieced together a ghetto torn with stories of both loss and hope. Recent events had led to the tragic deaths of three local men at the hands of the army, leaving the community grieving. JR and his team arrived at the perfect time to capture the pure heart of the ghetto laid bare for all to see, perhaps serving in a way if not uplift; at least distract the people from their tears. The main focus of the work being the women, the widows left behind to carry on a give the young hope.

The photography style is simple, in your face 28mm Wide-angle portraits, with no illusion of make up (or Photoshop!). After shooting, these pictures have been blown up to giant proportions and then with help of the kids of the ghetto, pasted up around the subject’s homes on the hillside slums.

The results can be seen bridging the gap between the Lazerides Galleries (Charing Cross Road and Greek Street) JR has taken up the whole side street, pasting his photography pavement to roof of the Foyles building, with the black and white end result of the project.100ft smiles from the ghetto kids beam out to greet all who pass between the two galleries showing JRs work.

The Greek Street gallery has photos mounted on doors, picture frames, mirrors and any cast away pieces of wood paneling JR could find. Pasted on the floor, walls and ceiling of the Charing Cross gallery, are reels of (soon to be defunct) Kodak film, which have been enlarged to cover the whole place with faces from various worldwide ghettos. The main attraction for me is the accompanying 15minute long video which is projected on to the wall. The video is a 1 take speed up/slo-mo tour through the (barely a meter wide at times) streets, cleverly weaving in and out of peoples houses giving a wide angle view of the locals who now have their images pasted like billboard adverts across the entire hillside.

The filming is possibly the most vivid use of the format, with the most moving results I have ever witnessed. It is perfectly edited together to give, at times, the effect of “bullet-time-photography” but at the same time keeping it entirely grounded and focused on the heart of the matter.

This isn’t merely an art show; these are lives of people who have bared their soul, not so their image can travel the world, but purely their story. At no point do these proud people ask for our sympathy, they simply would be offended. With determination of steel this is a community with the strongest of bonds, much stronger than the cracked cement they are housed on. At the same time, admirably, JR asks for no plaudits for bringing this to the attention of the outside world.

This is truly excellent work, enjoy it why it lasts.


Official JR website

Philip Procter

Night Raids

Vans vs Dave the Chimp Launch Party


As expected, the Vans/Dave the Chimp launch party proved a big hit with London’s eastenders. With free booze and sexy ladies rife throughout the venue, I managed to catch a few words with the artist. Having moved to Berlin to continue his career, Dave showed no sign of tuning down his eccentricity appearing in a purple tailored cape and mask. Despite what many forums will have you believe, he is a lovely chap not afraid to speak to meager mortals such as myself.

Them boys from the Death house were present as were Facso and co. to witness the miming madness and sets from DJ Stool Pigeon, Robots in Disguise and Le Couteaur Jaune. The shoes are on sale now at all regular Vans retailers.


Night Raids

Paul Insect- Poison exhibition


The first time I saw a print of the King was years ago when I first started to take notice of art. The print was a multi-coloured Andy Warhol piece, and that particular king was the one and only Elvis. Since then I’d never seen a single artist feature Elvis in their work, that was until one day I chanced across a print on an art forum from Paul Insect. This particular Elvis was lacking the enigmatic pose the Warhol print had, in-fact, it didn’t even have flesh!

Paul Insect’s talent is to see beyond the assumed views and rather than scratching the surface, he just rips it off. I’m sure he means to show us things for what they really are, or at least, how they are to him. Examples of this are rife throughout the recent Poison art show in London. Entering the former private shop in Kings cross, the first thing to notice are that the walls and ceiling are papered with images of his trademark plastic baby dolls heads. Mounted upon this backdrop are a series of framed prints of more heads with the forehead split wide open showing off eyes, circuit boards and mashed brains, they might be colourful and fun, but are also undoubtedly freaky.

In contrast, opposite the baby heads is a wall of ornate frames housing a series of fine art paintings of religious types on gold leaf style background. All of these paintings have a few things doctored, Bishops are clutching i-books or joints and some sporting clowns hair and mice noses, all effortlessly poking fun at the clergy while showing a more refined painting style and a lighter hearted outlook.

Playboys bunnies have had radical reworking too, there is one on display for every month of the year. The bunny ears are still there, but the pretty faces are stripped back to the bare bones. Although these bunnies are in skull form they aren’t devoid of expression. Some smiling, some angry, some blinged out with ruby encrusted teeth. The standout was the bunny with pink ears and matching pink braces clamped around the teeth. It would be obvious to assume that Insect was pointing at the cliché ‘Beauty is only skin deep‘ but to be honest, I think he just likes skulls with a bow tie and rabbit ears.

The main room of the gallery is where Insect gets to show off the main body of work. Centre stage is a glass table, held up by a full skeletal playboy bunny, eerily the feet have been transformed to high heels made solely of bone. The room is minimally furnished with a graff’d up old sofa and beat up TV to accompany the skeleton table. The walls have a more colourful blend of framed pieces of layered collage on wood and canvas. The standout piece however is a huge stencil, white on washed out black of a very Victorian looking angel, on her knees and true to “street art” style……..clutching a syringe.

The side walls in the main room are much more colourful mix of mediums. There are some very detailed sprayed pieces on wood, as well as equally striking, evolved pop-art styled canvases. Insect has a unique way of piling scores of shapes and colours in to a collage without them seeming too busy, even with Bootsy Collins style eye wear. These sprayed pieces might be out of sync with some of the other work on display, but serve to show Insect can’t be tagged in any one form of art, or certainly not in anyone one particular mindset. It’s clear Paul’s moods shift as often as his favoured medium, from sarcastic to desperate then playfully expressive, truly something for everyone.

As a solid member of Lazarides Galleries self styled Outsiders collective I’m sure Insect will be popping up soon in their galleries in Soho or even the gallery in Newcastle alongside the likes of Faile and Micallef. The next public outing for the group started on the 26th September in New York which is a full group show worth catching if you are in NYC, if you can’t make that keep your eyes open around the UK, freaky sci-fi dolls heads are popping up all over!

Philip Procter

If you like this, you’ll love our new art review section on Crossfire 3.0 launching soon. Contained within will be the usual interviews, press, exhibitions and events happening near you!

Night Raids

Relentless Mag Launch – 2008

Relentless Energy Drink decided to launch a new magazine ‘This Is The Order‘ on the hottest night of the year in Whoreditch. The free drinks poured until midnight leaving most bods wired and sweating for fresh air.

Gallows had the bouncers thrown out after their heavy handed pit security lasted all but 30 seconds into their set but despite the chaos, they played some brand new songs never heard before whilst the Crossfire Sound System mixed Devo and Let’s Go To War with Queens of the Stoneage and The Prodigy until we all swam home…pics thanks to Knox.

Night Raids

Crossfire Xmas Party – 2007


Every year the Crossfire Xmas Skate Jam ends on a high. This year the Crossfire Xmas Party premiered the Osiris ‘Feed The Need’ London DVD premiere at Corbet’s Place, Old Truman Brewery amongst 400 guest list faces to celebrate Unadulterated Malarkey. You know how these things go, we like to party but the fun was shut down before we had the chance to swing from the chandeliers. Lucky enough Night Raids caught the evidence from 2007.

The ladies were out in full force…

‘Feed The Need’ was the order of the night..

Punks with hearts of Gold were as hungry as Wolves..

Corey Duffel and Lisa Stansfield performed a duet…

All smiles were free as part of the night…

But the fingers kept coming…

…and coming…

Until we got shut down!